Calton Hill - Great View for Little Effort
18 April 2015 Calton Hill, Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh EH1 3BJ, UK
From the title of the post, you could probably already tell what this post is going to be all about. Previously I mentioned climbing Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh, and how we go lost through thorny bushes and braved the strong winds? Well if you're not much of a climber/hiker or you don't have that much time to spend a morning climbing a hill, but you want to get a nice view of Edinburgh, here's another alternative. Calton Hill. Don't be fooled by the word "hill" in its name, it really isn't much of a hill.
I had a huge lunch on my last afternoon in Edinburgh, and so to work it off, my friend and I decided to climb up Calton Hill - Mostly because I saw a nice picture and then decided I wanted to see "that shot" in real life. Plus it was one of those great sunny days, that the UK doesn't see much of. All the more we should take advantage of it right?
We walked up to towards Carlton Hill, and through a nice, quiet cemetery. I thought the cemetery was part of the hill, and I was like... "oh thats it?!" But it was not. We headed up the hill, past the shot that I wanted to see, and went all the up to see the unfinished replica of the Grecian columns. This replica is also known to people as the "Athens of the North" and its actual name is the National Monument. According to a friend of a friend we met, he said something about the Scottish wanting to replicate the building (The Pantheon I'm assuming?) but gave up halfway because they were like, "Why the hell do we need to be copying someone else?" and so they stopped working on it.
That was what the story registered as in my head, but I could be wrong! Hit up wikipedia if you want to know why this happen, please don't take my word for it! It seems like a legitimate story though. From the pictures you can clearly see that they just stopped building. The edges aren't finished off neatly, it is just there. It just stops.
I find that pretty amusing. And I guessed, being unfinished, it draws extra tourist attention to it. From the front, the columns look stunning and perfect, but when you walk around the corner, oops, that's it.
A very 2D experience.
But, the view up on the hill is GREAT. You get an aerial view of Edinburgh, without having to strain your calf muscles! Nobody can complain about that. In addition, there is a HUGE green space up at the top of the hill, perfect spot for a summer picnic!
(I feel a sense of deja vu when I type the words "for a picnic" it seems as though i've said it about so many places, and I have yet to go on any picnics since Summer of 2014. Why. I definitely need to have a picnic this summer!)
But yes, even though I enjoyed my climb up to Arthur's seat, and the whole experience with the thorny bushes, I must say, from the top of Calton Hill you practically get the same feeling of almost being blown away by the strong Edinburgh winds and a view that is just as great (ok, it comes in a close second, but its good enough!)
All WITHOUT having to "work for it". Now who wouldn't want that? :)